FAIRBANKS – Call it coincidental and call it the end of a nine-game winning streak for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
The Ice Dogs gave up four goals in the third period to the Kenai River Brown Bears and fell 4-2 to their intrastate rival in Saturday night\’s opener of a North American Hockey League series in Soldotna.
On the same night at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, the Alaska Nanooks gave up four goals in the third period of a 5-3 loss to the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks, whom the Ice Dogs watched practice on Thursday because two of their former players are now with the Mavericks – junior defenseman Nick Von Bokern and freshman forward Andrew McCabe.
The Ice Dogs, in third place in the West Division at 19-12-1, seized a 2-0 lead in a span of 50 seconds in the second period Saturday night on the Olympic-size ice of the Soldotna Sports Center.
Joe Krause, with assists from Justin Kirchhevel and Tyler Voight, provided the game\’s first goal at 10:01 of the second and Kirchhevel, with helpers from Kyle Politz and Jared Larson, made it 2-0 at the 10:51 mark.
Johan Skinnars scored two power play goals in the third for Kenai. The first one at 5:40 ignited the Brown Bears\’ rally.
Brad Fusaro tied the score at 11:22 and Skinnars produced the game-winner with a man-advantage marker at 12:28. Trace Strahle made an empty-net deposit at the 19:34 mark to seal the win for the last-place Brown Bears (7-23-2).
Ice Dogs goaltender Mike Taffe recorded 34 saves and Brown Bears counterpart Dainis Vasiljevs made 20 stops.
The series concludes at 5 p.m. today.
Contact the Daily News-Miner sports department at 459-7581.